Sympathize with the struggles of consumers amid rice price fluctuations

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The essential role of rice in the daily lives of Myanmar’s populace underscores the urgent need to address the escalating prices of rice varieties and alleviate the burden on consumers. The Myanmar Rice Federation recently made a significant move by announcing a suspension of new licenses for rice export, aimed at curbing the surge in domestic rice prices.
The federation has permitted the continuation of rice exports using existing licenses until the end of August this year. However, the issuance of new licenses is set to be put on hold for a period of 45 days. This strategic pause is geared towards devising effective measures to counter the escalating rice prices within the domestic market.
Despite being a substantial rice producer, Myanmar grapples with persistently rising prices across various rice varieties. Premium rice options such as Pawsan and Kyapyan have breached the K100,000 mark per bag, while the esteemed Shwebo Pawsan commands prices exceeding K150,000 per bag. Additionally, Aemahta rice is no exception, commanding prices exceeding K70,000 per bag within the local market.
The ramifications of soaring rice prices extend as a pressing concern for low-income individuals and those in the foundational economic strata. Factors such as elevated costs of agricultural inputs, fuel prices, and other commodities exacerbated by foreign exchange rate fluctuations, coupled with the instability in certain rice-cultivating regions, collectively impact rice production and overall price stability.
The ongoing consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with climate change and ongoing conflicts, play a pivotal role in the global food scarcity predicament. The looming threat of El Niño weather patterns and food crises looms large. El Niño’s impact tends to exacerbate dry conditions worldwide, detrimentally affecting crop yields. Consequently, several nations are actively bolstering their rice stockpiles in anticipation of potential shortages.
In light of these challenges, the critical pivot is for business entities to prioritize local rice sufficiency, thereby easing the financial strain on consumers grappling with elevated rice prices. Recognizing the importance of ensuring food security at the domestic level, authorities have judiciously opted to temporarily curtail rice exports. This year, roughly 320,000 tonnes of rice were exported between April and July.
Rasping the daily crises consumers face due to volatile rice prices underscores the need for calculated measures. By suspending new rice export licenses, the federation acknowledges the urgency of stabilizing domestic rice prices. This step, coupled with a broader consideration of global factors, has the potential to bring relief to consumers and enhance the overall food security landscape.

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